Oct. 13, 2007
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Before the season, Yale head coach Rudy Meredith made a deal with his team. After every Ivy League win, he would reward them with chocolate strawberries. Meredith, though, wasn't pleased following a 1-0 loss to Dartmouth last week, so he changed the terms prior to Saturday's Cornell game. Not only was a win required, but the team needed to score at least two goals in the first half and the margin of victory had to be at least four.
Apparently, that was proper motivation. The Bulldogs scored twice in the first 10 minutes of the game and cruised to a 5-0 victory over the Big Red on a cool afternoon at Reese Stadium. Emma Whitfield and Maggie Westfal both had a goal and an assist to lead the onslaught. Mary Kuder, Natalia Mann and Natalie Romine also scored.
It was Yale's largest margin of victory in an Ivy League game since a 5-0 win over Cornell during the 2005 season.
"We're very capable of playing like this," said Meredith, who put his team through a hard week of practice. "We worked on our attacking every day and didn't worry much about defense. I wanted us to score in the beginning of the game to get off on the right foot."
Kuder obliged when she took a feed from Whitfield in the left side of the box and fired a shot into the right corner at 7:17. Less than three minutes later, the Bulldogs struck again. Sophia Merrifield corralled a loose ball in the box and fed Westfal, who knocked it home from right in front.
Yale (7-5, 2-1 Ivy) added a pair of goals just 1:57 apart midway through the second half. Whitfield scored first when she settled a Westfal pass and beat Cornell goalkeeper Jodi Palmer from 10 yards out. Natalia Mann then scored on a penalty kick after being tripped in the box.
Romine capped the scoring at 74:16 off an assist from Caitlin Collins. It was Romine's first career goal.
Susan Starr played the first 67:17 in goal and made four saves. Her best stop came when she smothered Kara Lewis's hard shot from 10 yards out late in the first half. Ayana Sumiyasu relieved Starr and made one save. It was Yale's fourth shutout of the season.
The Bulldogs outshot Cornell 18-7, including 10-3 in the second half. Palmer finished with three saves for the Big Red (4-8, 0-3 Ivy).
Yale has won six of its last seven games.
The Bulldogs travel to Philadelphia to play Penn next Saturday at 5 p.m.
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity